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Lust, Money & Murder #1-3
Description⎮Reviewed Aug. 2016
Narrator: Sue Sharp
Length: 10h 10m
Publisher: Mike Wells⎮2013
5★ Audiobook⎮ I literally just finished this audiobook less than 10 seconds ago and I’m still heavily breathing from having held my breath during the ending. Wow! This was such a rush. I’m left with a strong urge to go door-to-door proselytizing about Lust, Money & Murder. This audiobook has an addictive quality I’ve only experienced from television shows. You know how certain shows are considered “binge-worthy”? The ones that make you stay up until all hours of the night, compulsively clicking for the next episode. Mike Wells has managed to package all of that into an audiobook series.
Lust, Money & Murder are actually three separate installments (titled “Lust”, “Money” and “Murder”), but I recommend either listening or reading to them in combined form, as I did. If not, the monstrous cliffhangers are bound to drive you crazy.
Wells takes you on a journey with Elaine (the protagonist) that spans the globe, but does so in a way that feels smooth and continuous. There are certain themes in Elaine’s life, and thus in the story, that tie everything together throughout and especially in the end.
I never knew where the story was headed, not even once. I’m usually happy if a story can manage to surprise me once. Being surprised by one good plot twist is just about all I could ask for, considering how much I’ve read. Two well-executed plot twists all but guarantee a five-star review.
I’m sitting here trying to think back and count the times I audibly gasped, jumped forward in my seat, or shot my eyes open in surprise. Not to mention the very huge twist near the end that caused me to shout so loud that my cat has yet to emerge from under the bed. Considering all of that, I feel it’s only fair that Lust, Money & Murder should be awarded at least 10 stars (out of five).
What is most impressive about this story is the fact that it managed to combine well-balanced characters with a well-paced plot. The writing wasn’t flourishy and overly descriptive. It fit the speed and style of the story perfectly. Who wants long, unnecessary descriptions slowing the momentum of an action-thriller story? There were flashbacks and a few POV changes to vary the pace from time to time, but those tactics were used sparingly and with tactfully.
I need to start a petition to have Lust, Money & Murder made into a prime time TV drama. It would make the transition from page to screen extremely easily. I recommend this to anyone who likes shows such as Quantico, Castle (without the humor), Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and Rookie Blue. Hey ABC, take a hint and option this for television already!
Narration review: As much as I adored the story, this is the type of review that tests my metal as an unbiased reviewer. The story gets a very solid 5 stars, but if I were rating the audiobook separately, it would get 3 or 3.5.
Let me be clear: Sue Sharp did a fine job of narrating the story. Her accents enriched the characters and her voice was lovely. I was even impressed with her tonal range. My complaints have very little to do with her and more to do with the sound quality and production of the audiobook itself.
There were several slip ups in the recording. So many, that I could not neglect mentioning them in this review. Phrases were repeated, there was audible dubbing, and sometimes the sound came and went. I understand that the author produced this audiobook (which I respect) and that instances like this are bound to happen, even sometimes in professional studios.
The good news is that my overall opinion of the audiobook was not affected by these errors, but only because the story and Sharp’s narration were so excellent. If that hadn’t been the case, this would likely be a very different review.
I’m not saying this to discourage you from choosing the audio version of the story, because I believe it is still worth hearing, but to simply fulfill my duty as a forthright reviewer. ♣︎
➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its author, Mike Wells, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Mike!
$ Available at Audible